“Excuse me?” Elizabeth demanded. “What right do you have you little twerp? So help me God, if I get a hold of you–hello?” She took the phone from her ear and slammed it down. As if for good measure, she picked it up and kept slamming it down.
Jason sipped his beer and watched the petite brunette slam the phone down repeatedly. He wasn’t sure why he was at The Outback again. He usually only came here to appease Lily. But a shipment had come in damaged and Jason didn’t feel like dealing with the crowd at Luke’s.
Elizabeth finished her outburst and suddenly remembered where she was. She looked around–but The Outback was nearly empty and the bar only had one patron. She moved down to the blonde and smiled at him brightly. “Anything I can get you?”
“I’m good.” Jason darted a look at the phone. “I hope your phone still works.”
Elizabeth glanced at it and flushed. “Sorry–I had a momentary loss of sanity. My brother-in-law is suing me.”
“Nikolas Cassadine?” Jason asked, surprised. What would he be suing Elizabeth for?
Elizabeth narrowed her eyes. “Yeah. How’d you know?”
“I know the family,” Jason replied. He took another sip of his beer. “What’s he suing you for?”
“Wrongful death,” Elizabeth replied. At Jason’s expression, she smirked. “Don’t tell me you haven’t heard about the murderer of Port Charles.”
Jason raised his eyebrows. “Who were you supposed to have murdered?”
“My husband,” Elizabeth muttered. “Nikolas needs his head examined. A speeding driver killed Lucky–just because he was coming to pick me up…it’s utterly ridiculous.”
“So he doesn’t have a case?” Jason asked. He frowned without thinking. Why was he interested? Because he’d known Lucky? Because Lily seemed to like this girl?
“Of course not. But he’s a Cassadine. Silly things like a lack of evidence wouldn’t stop him,” Elizabeth said, irritated. She frowned. “You look familiar.”
Jason tensed. There went this conversation. It wasn’t as though people’s opinions of him actually mattered to him–because they didn’t. But every once in a while, it was irritating when someone recognized him.
Elizabeth was studying him intently before breaking into a smile. “You were in here with Lily Corinthos last night, right?”
Jason relaxed a little. “Yeah. Lily’s a good friend of mine.” He sipped his beer, telling himself this conversation was definitely over. He didn’t make it a habit to talk to bartenders and he wasn’t about to continue it now. Instead, he found himself asking, “So why does he think you killed Lucky?”
Elizabeth shrugged. “Who knows?” She smirked. “Maybe he just needs a reason to hold on to Lucky–that’s why my mother-in-law is obsessed with our daughter.” Elizabeth sighed. “But I just know Nikolas is gonna win–he’s a Cassadine prince–he’s got all this money at his disposal. He can get the best lawyers.” Elizabeth shook her head. “I barely afford a lawyer, much less a decent one.”
“What about Alexis Davis?” Jason asked, naming his own lawyer. He frowned, realizing he was recommending his personal lawyer to a woman he barely knew. Shrugging it off, he continued, “She’s the best in town.”
“She’s also highly expensive and she’s Nikolas’s aunt,” Elizabeth reminded him. “There’s no way I can afford her rates.”
“I think the brat disowned her when she started to represent me,” Jason said. “And her rates aren’t that high.” At least they wouldn’t be when Jason finished explaining to Alexis that he’d make up the difference. Wait, he would? What the hell was he thinking?
Something about this young woman was making Jason do and say things he didn’t usually. It was an uncomfortable feeling and Jason wasn’t sure he particularly liked it. But he’d gotten himself into this conversation; he was going to finish it.
“Well…maybe I’ll give her a call,” Elizabeth replied. She gestured at his empty bottle. “Do you want another one?”
Jason glanced down at his bottle and shook his head. “No, thanks. I better head home.” He pulled out his wallet.
Elizabeth held up a hand to stop him. “No, it’s on the house. Thanks for the advice.”
Jason shrugged. “No problem.” He slid off the stool and was a few feet away before her voice called to him.
“See you around.”
He turned and for the some reason that escaped him, he said, “Sure.” He looked at her for another minute before heading towards the door. He suddenly had the urge to slam his head into a brick wall.
Lily was sipping her coffee the next morning when Francis, her guard on the door, opened the front door and announced Alexis.
Alexis Davis strode in, her briefcase hanging from her hand and a frown on her face. Lily stood. “Alexis. Hey.”
“I need to speak with you,” Alexis said, taking a seat on the couch opposite Lily’s loveseat. “I just came from the strangest meeting with Jason.”
Lily’s eyebrows rose. “Oh, really?”
Alexis nodded. “You know…I wouldn’t discuss with you normally but I think your friend has flipped his lid.”
Lily nodded. “He’s due,” she murmured. “So what makes you think that?”
“He told me that an Elizabeth Spencer would be calling sometime in the future and that when that happened, to offer her the lowest rate possible and he’d make up the difference.”
Lily nearly choked on her coffee as she heard Alexis’s words. “He did what?”
“I’m completely serious. Now, I didn’t even realize he knew Elizabeth, much less that she needed a lawyer.”
“Because of that nasty rumor going around,” Lily said.
“That and the fact that Nikolas is actively campaigning for an investigation and is also now suing her apparently for wrongful death.” Alexis frowned. “Do you think he was playing a joke on me?”
“Alexis. Think about what you’re saying. This is Jason. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word.”
“Yeah…that’s true. So would it be wrong to take the case even if I know another client was footing a major portion of the bill?”
“Depends. Do you want to get Nikolas back for the grief he caused you two years ago when you began representing Jason fulltime?”
Alexis grinned. “I knew you’d put it in perspective.”
Elizabeth was the phone making an appointment to see Alexis Davis when she saw Lily Corinthos slide onto the stool in front of her. She held up a finger to indicate she’d be right with her.
“Wow…I can actually afford those rates!” Elizabeth said, a smile crossing her face. “Are you sure you want to consider this, Ms. Davis? I mean, Nikolas is your nephew…uh huh…all right. I’ll be tomorrow afternoon at three. Thank you so much.” Elizabeth hung up the phone and turned to Lily. “Hi, what can I get you?”
“A conversation if you have the time,” Lily said, grinning at the brunette. Alexis Davis had stopped by her penthouse that morning and filled her in on a strange phone call she’d gotten that night from Jason. Something about an Elizabeth Spencer was going to be calling and that she needed a lawyer, so offer her the lowest rate she could and Jason would make up the difference. The second Lily had heard that story, she’d made up her mind to visit the girl and find out what was going on.
Elizabeth’s eyes scanned the restaurant–it was early so it wasn’t really filled. “Sure. What’s on your mind?”
“The guy I was in here with…Jason Morgan–”
“That was Jason Morgan?” Elizabeth said. Her eyes darted to the phone. Alexis Davis. It all made sense now. He’d recommended a lawyer that was known for being the best–she’d kept both Sonny Corinthos and Jason Morgan out of jail numerous times. Whenever Mac had talked about Jason, she’d pictured an older man…with graying hair…a little extra weight. Maybe it was the Godfather movies…but it never occurred to Elizabeth that Jason Morgan would be young with blonde hair and electric blue eyes and a body…she stopped herself. “I didn’t know.”
“You’ve heard the name?” Lily said, slightly deflated. There went her hopes for this match. “Jason’s–he’s not what people think–”
“My former boss, Mac Scorpio talks about him,” Elizabeth interrupted knowing where Lily was going with this conversation, “but I didn’t know him until you brought him here. I’ve never met him before which means I didn’t have an opinion.”
“So what do you think about him now?” Lily asked, eagerly.
Elizabeth smiled. “He’s nice.”
“Nice?” Lily repeated. She leaned forward. “Come on. Just between us.” Jason? Nice? Maybe Jason had a twin running around Port Charles they weren’t aware of. Because Jason was a lot of things to strangers, but nice wasn’t usually one of them. This girl must have affected him in a different way.
“No, really,” Elizabeth laughed. “He was here last night and we talked. He recommended Alexis for this lawsuit I’m in. He’s a good listener.”
Lily frowned. “Jason was here last night?” She looked around. Jason never came to The Outback unless it was to appease her. It wasn’t his style.
“He sticks to places like Luke’s and Jake’s, doesn’t he?” Elizabeth asked.
Lily nodded. “Yeah, usually. It’s not that this place is bad, but it’s just not his normal hangout.”
“Well, if it helps, the Spencers had a private party so Luke’s was closed last night,” Elizabeth explained.
“So what did you two talk about?” Lily asked.
Elizabeth smirked. “You always this interested in his conversations?”
Lily laughed. “No, not usually. Jason’s not big on conversations. It’s usually a grunt, a few one word answers and three word sentences. That’s why he’s a good listener–he doesn’t talk.”
Elizabeth smiled. “We just talked about my brother-in-law suing me.”
“Nikolas Cassadine is suing you?” Lily asked. “What the hell for?”
“Wrongful death,” Elizabeth replied. “He thinks if he can get a civil conviction it’ll make it easier to get an investigation open.”
“Well, you’re in good hands with Alexis,” Lily said confidently. “She won’t let that happen–she’s the best.”
“I just can’t believe I can afford her,” Elizabeth replied, incredulously.
Lily laughed. “Oh, I can.”
Elizabeth looked at her oddly before Lily rushed to explain. “Alexis is weird about her rates–she’s lucky enough to charge what she wants when she wants. I bet the second she heard what Nikolas was trying to do to you she was going to take your case,” Lily said firmly.
“Oh, well. I guess it doesn’t really matter–as long as I can afford her,” Elizabeth replied.
“How old is your daughter again?” Lily asked.
“Six months. Why?” Elizabeth asked.
Lily grinned. “How would you and your dinner like to join my son and me for dinner tomorrow night?”
As Elizabeth agreed, Lily was thinking of ways to con Jason into coming over. Her mind was already working over time–Jason had expressed an interest in this girl whether he realized it or not. The trouble he’d gone to help get a good lawyer and the fact that he’d even talked to her said as much.
It was Lily’s job to make sure he didn’t screw it up.
Lily pulled the penthouse door open with a wide smile. “I’m glad you could make it.”
Elizabeth entered, Lex cradled in one arm, her diaper bag and a small black purse thrown over the opposite shoulder. She looked around Lily’s penthouse with wide eyes. “Wow. It’s incredible.”
Lily grinned and shut the door behind her guest. “Isn’t it? You should have seen it when I first married Sonny – full of dark furniture and depressing décor. The first chance I had I redecorated in beige and peach.” A shadow crossed Lily’s face. “Although I’d rather have the depressing things back if it meant Sonny would still be here.”
Elizabeth nodded and sat down on the couch. “I know what you mean – I miss Lucky a lot. Especially when I look at Lex.”
“And she’s such a beautiful child,” Lily said, enchanted with the six-month-old girl cradled in Elizabeth’s arms. Lex already had a tuft of brown hair growing. She had her mother’s porcelain skin and her father’s expressive blue eyes.
“Thank you,” Elizabeth said, clearly pleased. She shifted Lex a little on her lap.
“I set up Michael’s old play pen if you want to put her in there. Unless she’s too young,” Lily said. “I put Michael in there as soon as possible–otherwise he’d be crawling everywhere.”
Elizabeth smiled and stood grateful. “I did the same thing – well, I tried anyway. I work such hellish hours, Lex is always with my mother-in-law and Laura can’t stop putting her down.” She set Lex down in the playpen and Lex immediately started investigating the stuffed animals Lily had spread around. “So now she always wants to be held.”
“It must be difficult,” Lily said. “I don’t work–Sonny set me up for the rest of my life. I got this penthouse, a house in the mountains, a place in Puerto Rico, a place in Italy…” Lily grinned. “Jason and I share the island, though.”
“You’re lucky,” Elizabeth said, taking her seat again. “I own the Outback but with Luke’s and Carly Quartermaine’s new club, it can be difficult getting business sometimes.”
“You own it?” Lily asked, clearly surprised. “But you waitress.”
“And I do the bartending,” Elizabeth said. She shrugged. “It’s easier. The money from actually owning the place goes into an account for Lex and whatever else I make, we live on.” She looked around. “Where’s your son?”
“Oh, he’s over Jason’s,” Lily said. “He’ll be here in a little while.” She grinned, almost excited. Elizabeth would be able to meet at his most relaxed. Jason adored Michael and it made Lily sad that he didn’t want children of his own. “Michael thinks Jason’s the best thing since his trucks.”
“After convincing me to see Alexis, I think the same thing,” Elizabeth replied, a smile on her face. “Do you know she even considered taking my case for free simply on merit?”
Lily’s eyebrows shot up. “Alexis? Take a case for free. She must be pissed at her nephew.”
Elizabeth nodded. “Yeah. I remember Alexis vaguely–she was at my wedding. But the Cassadines really kept to themselves at the reception.”
“Jason and I went to your wedding,” Lily said. “You were a beautiful bride.”
“Yeah–you couldn’t even tell I was pregnant,” Elizabeth said cheerfully.
Lily laughed. “No–but Nikolas made sure everyone knew.”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “I know–he was ridiculous. Hi. Do you know the bride’s pregnant?”
The door to Lily’s home sprang open and Michael darted past Jason and straight towards Lily. “Guess what? Guess what?” he said, excitedly. He all but threw himself into Lily’s lap.
Lily pulled the toddler onto her lap and grinned at him. “What? What?” she asked.
“Unca Jase says I get to ride his bike!”
“Michael–you weren’t supposed to tell!” Jason said, leaning against the doorframe, a smile on his face.
“Jason–I thought we discussed this,” Lily said, standing and shifting Michael to her hip. “No motorcycles until he’s at least three.”
“Awww, Ma!” Michael whined. Lily turned to look at the two-and-half-year-old and saw that her son’s brown eyes were giving her the puppy dog look. “Pretty pwease?”
Lily struggled and looked to Elizabeth. “Liz, what do you think? Should I let Michael on a death machine?”
Elizabeth stood and laughed. “Sure. I’m sure Jason would be careful.” She turned to look at the man who a few moments ago had been grinning at the little Corinthos. He’d straightened up and stuck his hands in his pockets, his face a cold exterior. Lily frowned–it’d taken barely five seconds for Jason to shut down.
“It’s fine if you don’t want him to, Lily,” Jason said. “I have to be going–I’ve got work to do.”
“Unca Jase, you pwomised!” Michael cried, his lower lip trembling.
“Your mother’s right–you’re too young.” Jason grasped the knob. “See you tomorrow.” He pulled the door shut.
Elizabeth chewed on her bottom lip. “Was it something I said?”
Lily sighed and set Michael on the ground. “Go play with your trucks, sweetie.”
Michael toddled off, clearly upset by Jason’s abrupt departure. Lily turned to Elizabeth–wondering how she could save this situation.
“Jason…he’s not…” Lily struggled for the words.
“Not good with people he doesn’t know?” Elizabeth suggested.
Lily smiled–relieved. “Yeah. In his…line of work…he doesn’t open up easily, ya know? He’s very closed off. Me and Mike are the only people he really relates to anymore.”
Elizabeth sat down and Lily followed. “I can understand and it’s all right. Really.”
“Good. Because I think Jason might…” Lily hesitated. “I think he’s the reason Alexis’s rates are low.”
Elizabeth knitted her eyebrows together in confusion. “What?”
“Okay…I know he’s the reason. See, Alexis came in this morning, a little confused. Normally, she would never discuss Jason’s business with me, but this one had her so bewildered se wanted to run it by me. Jason called her early this morning and told her you’d be calling. He asked her to offer you a low rate and he’d make up the difference.”
Elizabeth’s eyes grew as big as saucers. “Are you serious? Why would he do that?”
Lily shrugged. “I have no clue–but it gives me hope. See, Jason…he broke it off with a long-term girlfriend a few months ago and he’s been harder to reach ever since. I was hoping…” she stopped, her cheeks flushed.
Elizabeth gave her new friend a knowing smile. “That I’d change that?”
Lily nodded. “Yeah. I mean, he obviously took a liking to you if he even talked to you last night. Not only that, he recommended his lawyer and arranged it so you could afford her. I think that freaked him out a little and he’s probably going to be making a concentrated effort to remain aloof.”
“Why?” Elizabeth’s nose wrinkled. “Why would he prefer to be alone?”
Lily didn’t even consider telling her about Sonny–she couldn’t tell this woman that Jason blamed himself for Sonny’s death, for a car bomb that no one could have guessed was in there. It was too early for her to understand that Jason took everything on his shoulders, whether it was his fault or not. She didn’t want to scare off the most promising candidate for Jason in months. So, instead, she opted for a simple explanation. “Jason….he’s a difficult man to be friends with. And even more difficult to be in a relationship, as Robin learned. He…keeps things close–he doesn’t share things a lot, not even with me.” Her caramel eyes pleaded with her new friend. “Don’t let his gruffness alienate you–once you get to know Jason, he’s a great guy.”
Elizabeth’s sapphire eyes twinkled. “Why, Lily Corinthos, are you trying to fix me up?”
“Absolutely,” Lily replied, shaking her head, her brown hair bobbing up and down in its pony tail.
She laughed. “All right, then. But only because you’ve been so nice.”
Lily squealed with excitement. “I just know this is gonna work!”
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